Young People Bring Community Spirit To Bush Festival

By Londonist Last edited 125 months ago
Young People Bring Community Spirit To Bush Festival

Shepherd's Bush blogger Bird in the Bush reports from this weekend's timely and lovely Bush Festival


It was the youth what did it. Bush Festival that is. This one day family fun day, which brightened up Shepherd’s Bush Green on Saturday, was mainly organised and run by young people who saw the need for a community event long before the sad events of last week played out across London and the UK.

Last week’s riots may have presented a last minute obstacle, which was thankfully overcome thanks to local support from the council and police, but they also added an extra degree of poignancy as the crowds gathered on the Green.

Featuring a range of live music including soul, jazz, salsa, folk and rock as well as rows of stalls selling crafts, food and handmade goods, many of which were “Made in W12” there was plenty to see, hear and do. Children were kept busy with face-painting, a (free!) bouncy castle, football area, laser combat course and the brilliantly fun African drumming workshops. Adults had their own choice of fun too from the Bush Theatre’s play writing workshops (again run by two passionate young people) to an indoor rowing challenge or getting a henna tattoo. To keep hunger at bay there was African, Carribbean and European cuisine, which could be washed down with either a crepe, a cupcake or candyfloss.

Shepherd’s Bush is known for many big things; the BBC, the (O2) Empire and Westfield. Yet there is a lot more to W12; it is an area of rich cultural history with people from virtually all corners of the globe now calling it home. Bush Festival successfully honoured this with its mix of music, food and activities.

So what can you say about the youth of today in times like these? Supported by a local non-profit community centre - the Masbro Centre - a number of local businesses and a handful of not so young people, the youth of Shepherd’s Bush achieved something very special and much needed on Saturday; real community spirit.

Photography by Selina Pavan. You can see more pictures of the day by Bush Birdie on her blog.

Last Updated 15 August 2011